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Bishop T.D. Jakes Talks Forgiveness in Trayvon Martin Case

Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, has taken to national television to promote his new book, Let It Go, and to express his views regarding the Trayvon Martin case, which has attracted worldwide attention since details of the Florida teen’s shooting death were made public. The minister, whose book deals with forgiveness, says, in light of such cases, “Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator.”

The Texas minister went on to say that he feels the Trayvon Martin case goes far beyond an African-American issue, as others, such as Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have claimed that the handling of the teen’s case is an example of the disregard for the lives of black males in America. Rather, Jakes insisted, the case addresses the issue of safety for everyone’s children, no matter their skin color.

At the same time, the Let It Go author shared that he felt a double standard might have been applied in the case and questioned, as others have done, why Zimmerman has not been arrested for the fatal shooting.

“I think that if the shoe were on the other foot. Had it been Trayvon who had killed some other child in some other situation then he would have been arrested,” Jakes argued.

Similarly, on CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien,” Jakes connected the topic of forgiveness to Martin’s case.

O’Brien asked Jakes, “Are there slights that are too big to be forgiven? How do Trayvon Martin’s parents ever say we can forgive anything?”

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Jakes argued that the importance of forgiveness does not lie so much in the perpetrator, but in oneself, for one’s own personal healing.

“Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator,” he told O’Brien.

“Forgiveness says I’m not going to allow myself, 10 years from now, to still be sitting on the side of the bed seething in anger at the individual. That I have to find a way to move forward, and that I unhitch myself from this incident and move on with my life,” he added.


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    Bishop Jakes is correct on the fact that forgiveness is necessary to help this family move on. However, they probably need to be ministered to to help them in the process. I do believe based on the 911 tapes, the crime was racially motivated. The perpetrator needs to be dealt with.

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